Monster Hunter series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and Monster Hunter Rise director Yasunori Ichinose recently did an interview with Eurogamer in which they divulged various details of exciting new Nintendo Switch exclusive Rise, as well as elaborated on how Capcom got its proprietary RE Engine running on Switch for the first time for this game.
For one thing, the game has been in development for about four years already — meaning it started development before Nintendo Switch launched. In fact, it even started development before the retail launch of Resident Evil 7, the first full Capcom game to use the RE Engine. As a result, there was a lot of experimentation and technical details to work out, and Monster Hunter Rise was approached as the “next portable” entry, following Ichinose’s work as director of Monster Hunter Generations on Nintendo 3DS.
Tsujimoto and Ichinose emphasized that Monster Hunter Rise is being treated as its own distinct entity, built to play to its selected hardware’s specifications, and that basically all games in the franchise are approached in this manner. As a result of this philosophy, Capcom never gave any serious thought to porting smash hit Monster Hunter: World to Switch.
To this end, Tsujimoto said, “If you’ve got something like Nintendo Switch which is pick up and play, you can play it anywhere, you don’t necessarily want the same gameplay experience which is designed assuming you’re sitting in front of a big TV on a sofa for four hours straight. We want to be able to design a game that you can pick up for 30 minutes on the go, before bed, and get something out of that experience.”
Thus, Monster Hunter Rise is being designed to be a more instantly accessible experience on Nintendo Switch, but it will still have elements longtime fans have come to expect, like 14 weapons to utilize. However, the new Wirebug mechanic will add additional unique depth to each of those weapons. There may also be a bit more humor in Rise than in World, as Tsujimoto thinks the “So tasty” line will return, at least.
How Monster Hunter Rise got RE Engine running on Switch
Finally, getting RE Engine running on Nintendo Switch was expectedly quite the technical challenge, but Capcom made it work. The company foresees that most of its games in general will use this engine moving forward, in fact. (I wonder if that extends to anything Mega Man-related?) Ichinose shared the following about RE Engine on Switch:
It was definitely a new challenge for us. As you mentioned, it was indeed our first time bringing an RE Engine title onto the Switch. So a lot of background technical engineering work needs to be done just to achieve targeting a new hardware platform. Of course, being an internal Capcom engine, that meant that we had the benefit of all the expertise and knowledge of our engineers to hand – they worked very hard, getting the engine working for us and ensuring that we could take the game content which involves these not strictly open world per se but large maps with no loading areas between them, having those work seamlessly whilst maintaining the graphics quality we wanted, to keep that stuff in without affecting performance and having the frame rate be something that could achieve our targets – a lot of all that stuff was a difficult balance to achieve but I think that the team has really pulled it off, targeting a comfortable 30 frames per second whilst also making the game look as good as it does and pushing the power of the Switch as much as we can. It’s been a challenging but rewarding experience.
Honestly, this interview really sold me on Monster Hunter Rise in a way that I hadn’t been before. My gaming time is precious and limited, but Capcom is trying its hardest to tempt us, as usual.